Define have provided Landscape Architecture services to support the submission of a planning application (April 2020) for the school site in the centre of Ebbsfleet. The campus will eventually offer more than 2,200 places to nursery, primary and secondary school pupils, as well as serve as a key community sports facility. The designs have been submitted following extensive consultation with the school operator Aletheia Trust, The Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, Kent Highway Authority and public consultation. The combined schools and associated facilities will occupy an 11.1 hectare site, making it one of the largest educational facilities ever to be built in Kent. The landscape falls in level across the site which has provided many challenges but resulted in a cascading series of terraces and split levels. The site comprises of an internal school courtyard, a sunken MUGA, a primary school playground, sports pitches and running track and a public realm style series of connected spaces that combine to create a pedestrian friendly campus.
Define have challenged traditional approaches to vehicular access and parking to create an environment that is free from cars during the operation of the school, encourages people to walk and cycle to school and gives pupils the free run of the school grounds and sports pitches at break times. Define are responsible for the design of the majority of the public realm in Ebbsfleet so part of our role is to design the surrounding landscape of the site and ensure that the school site sits comfortably within its context. This includes the Fastback route immediately to the south which is a bus only vehicular corridor that runs through the centre of the site and includes significant cycle routes and footpath links.
Construction for the school will begin in 2021 with a grand opening of the school commencing in 2023.